Euro's Or Sterling?
Euro’s For Sterling Or Vice Verca?
Britons are switching record sums between pounds and euros as fears grow over the future of the single currency and the safety of Continental banks.
But while hundreds of thousands of people are bringing money back to sterling accounts in British banks, many others are doing the opposite.
They are buying euros, often with an eye to purchasing savagely discounted properties on the Continent, or refurbishing the properties that they already own.
Among the uncertainty and panic, reports are emerging of desirable properties in Greece and elsewhere selling for half the price of just three months ago.
Mark Bodega of foreign exchange firm HiFX in Windsor, Berkshire, says euro-to-sterling transactions are almost treble their usual level ‘in spite of the euro’s recent weakening’. He says: ‘Fear is clearly driving these transactions.’
But the traffic is far from one-way. Rival forex firm MoneyCorp says that while euro-to-sterling deals have doubled in the past month, transactions the other way have mushroomed even more.
‘The majority of transactions between the currencies is still sterling buying euros,’ says MoneyCorp’s David Kerns. ‘Britons are as much as ever in love with the idea of buying a home in France or Italy and this turmoil is providing an extra enticement.’
Euro-to-sterling transactions at Caxton FX, a low-cost forex firm popular with British owners of homes in eurozone countries, were last week running at three times regular levels. ‘A proportion of clients are definitely set on bringing money back to Britain,’ says managing director James Hickman.
‘This is partly due to nervousness about the security of European banks – people just don’t feel comfortable
“It’s certainly a good time to be buying property abroad or renivating with the Euro falling, but will it fall even lower, reports say it will so maybe wait a little longer”says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.